Skip to main content

Channel Surfing: 8.14.06

AMC to Get "Mad"

Cabler AMC has greenlit its first original one-hour drama, Mad Men, about the professional and personal lives of Madison Avenue advertising execs in the early 1960s, ordering 13 episodes from executive producer/writer Matthew Weiner (The Sopranos) and studio Lionsgate (Weeds).

According to an article in Variety, production begins in April in New York City. Series will star Jon Hamm (We Were Soldiers), January Jones (American Wedding), Elisabeth Moss (The West Wing), Vincent Kartheiser (Angel), Christina Hendricks (Kevin Hill), and John Slattery (K Street).

"Mad Men centers on thirty-something Don Draper, creative director for the Sterling Cooper ad agency, which hawks everything from cigarettes to political candidates. Pilot episode centers on Don's fight to keep a major tobacco account from leaving the agency while juggling his increasingly complicated romantic life."

Weiner wrote the script when he was on staff on the CBS sitcom Becker and the script made its way to David Chase, who hired Weiner on The Sopranos on the strength of the spec. (See, kids, there is hope out there for your spec scripts.) His other credits include Andy Richter Controls the Universe and The Naked Truth.

Mad Men is expected to premiere on AMC in June 2007.

Fox Scores "Dirt" on FX

Pro basketball player Rick Fox has landed a multi-episode arc on FX's upcoming tabloid drama series Dirt, where he'll play... a star basketball player.

However, Fox won't be playing himself on the series, which stars Courtney Cox as the editor of a tabloid mag. Instead, he'll be playing a pro ball player experiencing marital problems. Fox recently appeared on UPN's Love, Inc. and in several installments of HBO's Oz; on the feature side he appeared in Spike Lee's He Got Game and Mini's First Time.

FX ordered 13 episodes of Dirt, which is slated to go into production next month; cabler is looking at an early 2007 premiere.

"Simpsons" Not Welcome in China

Homer just can't get a break.

China has banned animated series The Simpsons from its airwaves in an effort to promote Chinese animation.

According to a report filed by the Associated Press, Chinese regulators have barred foreign cartoons from television during the 5-8 pm period, in order to bolster struggling animation houses in the Republic. Those timeslots are currently occupied by non-Chinese animated series including The Simpsons, Mickey Mouse, and Japanese sensation Pokemon.

Much of this change stems from "a recent study that found that 80 percent of Chinese children surveyed liked foreign cartoons and disliked domestic animation."

I don't know about you, but I smell an upcoming Simpsons episode dealing with all of this...

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Two and a Half Men/How I Met Your Mother (CBS); Psych (NBC); 7th Heaven (WB); Wife Swap (ABC); Hell's Kitchen (FOX; 8-10 pm); One on One/All of Us (UPN)

9 pm: Two and a Half Men/The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS); Treasure Hunters (NBC); 7th Heaven (WB); Wife Swap (ABC); Girlfriends/Half and Half (UPN)

10 pm: CSI: Miami (CBS); Medium (NBC); Supernanny (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Hell's Kitchen.

It's the season finale of the FOX culinary competition show and it's actually down to Heather and Virginia, one of whom will actually win their very own restaurant at the Red Rocks Resort in Las Vegas. Which one will command their teams of axed would-be chefs to victory? It's no secret that I've been rooting for Heather since the very beginning. So, come on, girl and bring home the win.

10 pm: Life on Mars on BBC America.

It's the fourth episode of this brilliant (and British) mind-bending mystery series that stars State of Play's John Simm as Detective Sam Tyler, a modern-day copper who wakes up in 1973. On tonight's episode, Sam takes on a local gangster when he attempts to crackdown on police corruption. Well, better a gangster than that creepy little girl who lives in the telly. She gives me the willies.

10 pm: Weeds on Showtime.

The second season of Showtime's suburban pot dramedy starts tonight. On tonight's premiere episode ("Corn Snake"), Nancy discovers her new beau is a DEA agent (uh oh), Celia runs for city council against Doug, and Andy has to impress a rabbinical school admissions officer.

11 pm: Lovespring International on Lifetime.

The improvised comedy returns with a brand new episode tonight. On tonight's installment ("The Portrait and the Painter"), receptionist Tiffany (Jennifer Elise Cox) creates absolutely chaos at the Lovespring offices when she falls under the suspicion that her ex-boyfriend is having an affair with Victoria (Jane Lynch). And after seeing The 40-Year-Old Virgin, could you blame him?


Anonymous said…
Rick Fox - yikes. I hope he doesn't have to talk a lot. The man can play basketball. The man cannot act. But he is nice to look at.
Anonymous said…
Exqueeze me???

AMC's first original series?

No remembering of REMEMBER WENN?
Or or THE LOT?

Oh, that was when AMC showed good movies, without commercials. Never mind....
Jace Lacob said…
"Remember WENN" and "The Lot" were half-hours. No one said that "Mad Men" was AMC's first original series. It is the cabler's first "original one hour drama."
Mark McCormick said…
I think Mad Men is the best thing on TV right now. The details are spot-on, the production values high, the psychological landscape believable. I love it.

Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

BBC Culture: Matthew Weiner: Mad Men’s creator on its final episodes

The creative force behind the period drama talks about where his characters are as his show begins its final episodes. “We left off with everyone’s material needs being met in an extreme way,” says Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner of where we last saw the characters on his critically acclaimed period drama when the show went on hiatus 10 months ago. “Then the issue is, what else is there?” That is the central question with the return to US TV of the AMC hit, one demanding to be answered by both the show’s characters, and its creator whose success is the envy of the television industry. Mad Men has been a defining part of Weiner’s life for the last 15 years. He wrote the pilot script on spec while he was a staff writer on CBS’ Ted Danson sitcom Becker in 1999, using it to land a writing gig on HBO’s The Sopranos in 2002. It would take another five years, filled with multiple rejections, before the first episode of Mad Men would make it on the air. Someone with less determination or vision

Have a Burning Question for Team Darlton, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, or Michael Emerson?

Lost fans: you don't have to make your way to the island via Ajira Airways in order to ask a question of the creative team or the series' stars. Televisionary is taking questions from fans to put to Lost 's executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and stars Matthew Fox ("Jack Shephard"), Evangeline Lilly ("Kate Austen"), and Michael Emerson ("Benjamin Linus") for a series of on-camera interviews taking place this weekend. If you have a specific question for any of the above producers or actors from Lost , please leave it in the comments section below . I'll be accepting questions until midnight PT tonight and, while I can't promise I'll be able to ask any specific inquiry due to the brevity of these on-camera interviews, I am looking for some insightful and thought-provoking questions to add to the mix. So who knows: your burning question might get asked after all.